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Thursday, June 18, 2009

As Paul Harvey Would Have Said...and now, The Rest of the Story...

Our story did not end with the second person who claimed to want the piano and it will not end with the third, but I will lead through the rest of our piano giveaway adventure.
The third people in line were a family with seven children whom they wished to instruct in the art of playing the piano. They had emailed us, so I happily emailed them and informed them that it was their lucky day, the piano was now indeed theirs if they chose to come and pick it up. Then I waited for their reply. And waited and waited some more. Then I got the reply. Remember the loose leg on the piano? The one that probably just needed a dowel to be able to use the screw again or a good dose of glue?? The one we had described in our ad? Well, it seems that the father of this family had written to us, but the mother was afraid the piano would fall on one of her precious offspring (keep in mind that it hadn't even wobbled once in the 2 years we had this piano, the leg was only an issue when moving the relocating it to a new house). So this family no longer wanted this piano. I did compose an email to them after piano taker number 4 fell through, although I never sent it. The main idea of the email said something like this, "the piano is very stable once in place in your home, so unless your seven children plan to drag the piano around the house every day, I don't see the leg as being a problem for you." I deleted that email, but it sure felt good to write it, even if they never saw it.
Piano taker # 4. A woman named Tina who lived about 50 minutes away and again was someone who was going to rely on a friend with a pickup to help her get our piano. We set up a time that her friend had agreed to the next day after contacting her. The next day arrived and she said she was coming and then at the last minute she says her friend can't make it that day, could we make it the next day? We said, fine and said to let us know what time would work. The next day we get an email saying she will be coming around 6 in the evening, she confirmed it with her friend, they are getting ready to leave. 6 o'clock comes and she's not here and she hasn't called. Colin checks the email and sure enough, we have an email from her saying she would have called, but she doesn't have long distance and her calling card was all used up, her friend had bailed on at the last second. She was very nice and apologized, telling us we had been very patient and that if we still had the piano on June 12th, she would rent a U-Haul truck and come get the piano. June 12th??? We certainly hoped it would be gone by then!
So we moved on to taker # 5. A man in Puyallup (huh, the spell check hates that say it Pew-Al-lup, it's a town out here). This man promised to call at 4:30 the next day when he got off work and then head out to get the piano. 4:30 the next day, he didn't call, so Colin called him and got nothing. I called and I believe he answered, but then he hung up. I called back and left a voice mail saying you can call us or we're moving on down the list. That wasn't entirely true. We wanted to move on down the list, but didn't have any more names.
When Colin got home that night I asked him to please list the piano on 2 good 2 toss, which is a little more local than Craigslist, which is where we got all but one of the lovely people we had dealt with so far. I had wanted him to list it on there in the first place, but he had listed it on Craigslist and one other local site and figured it was good enough, which it usually is, but it wasn't this time. So Colin posted it to the site and then we went to the table for dinner. That night at dinner, I not only prayed a blessing over the food, I prayed about giving away that silly piano. I prayed that God would send the right people for this piano, someone who had a real need for it. I told him how frustrated we were with the whole process and that we just wanted to be done and know that the piano was somewhere being put to use. We ate our dinner and after dinner, Colin checked our email. We had an email from a woman in our OWN town wanting to know if her family could take a look at it the next night. So we made the arrangements and gave them directions and waited with baited breath to see if this was it. The next evening arrived and so did the dad and grandpa from this family with a boat trailer and lots of straps for tying down a piano. It turned out to be the girls softball coach from the local high school whose daughter was taking piano lessons from one of the music teachers, but only had a tiny keyboard to practice on. And that loose leg?? Not a problem according to the grandpa, he'd just use some gorilla glue and it wouldn't be going anywhere. And so we watched them strap the piano in and then we stood back and watched it drive off into the sunset, knowing that God had just answered prayers for both parties involved with the giving and receiving of this piano.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

To Continue the Story...

So, after a long delay, back to the story. Piano taker #2. We called him right away after the first people didn't come for the piano. He seemed very excited to get the piano and he was coming quite a way to get it. He told us he could pick it up the next day, which was Memorial Day.
Memorial Day came and we didn't hear from Shane (that was his name) so we called him. He said he still wanted the piano, but he had forgotten it was Memorial Day and his buddy was doing some things in honor of the day and wouldn't be able to bring Shane to get the piano (I haven't mentioned this, but Shane didn't drive, so a buddy had a truck and was going to bring him to get the piano). He wondered if it would be okay to come the next day around 10 am. Colin wanted to be home whenever the person came to get the piano so we told Shane that it would be better if he could come in the evening around 6:45pm. He agreed, so we were all set, or so we thought.
The next day 6:45 pm rolls around and no Shane, no phone call, nothing. So we called the number we had for him which was his cellphone. A man answered the cellphone (who sounded a lot like Shane, but claimed to be his brother). He told us Shane had already left, but had forgotten his cellphone. He promised to try to get a hold of his brother and call us back. He didn't call us back and Shane didn't show up. We decided we would call the number again the next day.
The next day I called and got the same man. The "brother". He said "He never arrived? I thought he was staying with some friends in a town near where you live. I know he's kind of crazy, er, uh, not crazy, um different. I guess I'd better start calling around to the jails. I'll call you back and let you know what's going on."
Well, that conversation sure made me feel good about having this strange guy coming to my house! I don't know about you, but when I can't find someone, the jail is NOT the first place I start looking! Of course, the "brother" never called back, not that I really wanted him too!
So...he was either really one person messing with us, a nice split personality person, or one very strange person who went missing on the way to pick up our piano! I didn't know the Bermuda triangle was in Washington state!
Unfortunately, this was not the end of our quest to give away a piano (although probably the strangest experience). I will conclude the story another day soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Great Piano Giveaway

I see that I entirely missed the whole month of May with this blog. It makes sense, the calendar at our house for the month of May was, as Colin puts it "covered in blue ink". I think there were only a couple of days where we didn't have something going or somewhere to be, sometimes multiple places in the same day. I am thankful June is here and the schedule isn't quite as booked anymore.
So, the piano. I'm sure you were just starting to wonder when I was going to get around to the topic of this post. The answer is, right now. And our story begins.
Early in May I saw a posting on my email from my homeschool group from one of my friends saying she was giving away her spinet piano. I quickly emailed and called and left a message for her, but I figured it was probably already spoken for since it had been posted to the loop a couple of hours prior to my discovery. It wasn't and she called me and told me it was mine if I wanted it (which we've already established that I did).
Now, we already had a piano that we had gotten free two years ago that was in fair condition, not great, but most of the work it could use was cosmetic and it needed tuning and probably a little work on the keys. I hadn't had it tuned because I was scared the tuner would tell me it needed more repairs than I could afford.
So now we were the owners of two pianos. One needed to go. Our schedule and my friend's schedule weren't matching up for about 3 weeks, so we had plenty of time to post it and give it away, right? Wrong. We put it off until the day we were supposed to pick up the new piano. Colin posted it on Freecycle and Craigslist. He asked responders to call (I prefer email, it's easier to sort). This is when the craziness started.
Our first caller was eager to pick up the piano the next day, so we told them they could have the piano. We forgot to ask what time they planned to arrive but, we figured we'd just call and ask the next day. A good plan, but it didn't work. They had used a neighbor's cell phone so when we called we got the neighbor. We asked him to contact them. We tried twice, but they never called back. So we moved on to the next person on the list who turned out to be an even more interesting experience than the first person on the list.
I will continue our saga tomorrow.